eSignature Legality Summary

The Canadian law states that an e-signature is binding provided it communicates the necessary intention to be legally bound to an agreement signed electronically. To promote uniformity in electronic commerce, all Canadian provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec) have enacted legislation based on the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA).

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) 2000 promote the use of e-signatures when trading. Both ESIGN and UETA highlight that electronic documents and e-signatures are seen in the same legal standing as traditional ways of completing contracts. This shows that electronic documents and signatures can’t be rejected simply for being electronic. The Federal Rules of Evidence and the Uniform Rules of Evidence generally allow for electronic records and their reproductions to be admissible into evidence.

*The information on this site is "AS IS" and for general information purposes only.
General Business Use (Yes)

Whilst 100% legal; there are exceptions for very specific types of transactions. It is still up to the discretion of the independent user, or governing body, whether they are used or not. As each business needs are different and the agreements themselves may vary. We always advise you to speak with an authority within your businesses category.

Court-Admissible (Yes)

Each country has its own regulations that determine whether an electronic signature is seen as legal or not. So, as long as your electronicsignature adheres to these, a signature won't be rejected simply for not being handwritten.

e-Signature Legal Model (Open)

CANADA’s legal model is an open one. This means that unlike a tiered model (that see’s Qualified Electronic Signatures as a legitimate form of e-signature); there aren’t any conditions for electronic signature types. This means a QES will not receive a legal status in CANADA.

emSigner Supports Following Use Cases for Standard Electronic Signatures (SES)

  • Employment Contracts, benefits paperwork and other new employee onboarding processes
  • Software license agreements
  • Commercial agreements between corporate entities including NDAs, procurement documents, sales agreements which do not relate to real estate
  • Consumer agreements (except consumer loan agreements) including new retail account opening documents
  • Certain intellectual property licenses and transfers such as trademark licenses and assignments
  • Residential and commercial lease agreements except, in some cases, termination notices regarding residential lease agreements

Use Cases That Are Not Supported or Typically Not Appropriate for Electronic Signatures or Digital Transaction Management Using emSigner

Following are the use cases that are specifically not supported for digital or electronic processes or that includes requirements wherein wet ink or handwritten signatures or formal notarization, hand written or witness is required.

  • Guarantees
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Trusts created by wills and codicils
  • Wills, codicils, and testamentary trusts
  • Powers of attorney and/or personal directives, to the extent that they are in respect of an individual’s financial affairs or personal care
  • Records/contracts that create or transfer interests in land
  • Documents of title (except contracts relating to the carriage of goods)
  • Domestic contracts (marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements, separation agreements)

“Digital Signature” means a transformation of a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person having the initial message and the signer’s public key can accurately determine
(a) whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key; and
(b) whether the message has been altered since the transformation was made

External Resources

DISCLAIMER: This information is intended to help you understand the legal framework of electronic signatures. However, eMudhra cannot provide legal advice. The law of electronic signatures is constantly evolving. This guide is not intended as a legal advice and should not serve as a substitute for professional legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding any specific legal concerns.
eMudhra, and all associates including agents, officers, employees or affiliates, are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages.